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Solvay launches production of torrefied biomass

Solvay has launched the production of torrefied biomass at an industrial scale in the United States, run by the recently created Solvay Biomass Energy joint venture between Solvay and U.S. company New Biomass Energy NBE.

The biomass is produced in Quitman, Mississippi at a plant that was built and developed by NBE. Solvay will provide its industrial expertise to more than triple annual production capacity to 250,000 tons by the end of 2014 from 80,000 tons currently. Solvay Biomass Energy will use by-products, such as sawmill residues, from the timber industry in the area’s managed forests. Solvay Biomass Energy, majority-owned by Solvay’s business unit Solvay Energy Services, is in charge of the plant’s operations and maintenance, feedstock sourcing, logistics and technology as well as of the product’s marketing mainly to energy producers in Europe and Asia.

Torrefied biomass, which handles and burns similarly to coal, is produced through torrefaction, a process that modifies the chemical properties of waste wood and biomass. Torrefied biomass can immediately and practically substitute coal, and it reportedly contains 35% more energy by weight than wood pellets, which yields significant logistical benefits to customers.

Solvay said it is improving the water repellent properties of torrefied biomass to further enhance its storage and handling properties.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


2 Responses to “Solvay launches production of torrefied biomass”

  1. The Torrefied biomass is great energy alternative of the fossil fuels.
    Similarly, biomass briquettes produced using the biomass briquette machine are the green renewable energy alternative which offer high calorific energy than any other coal and energy resources and can be used in any industrial and household power generation applications.

    Posted by Nilam | April 20, 2014, 7:10 am
  2. Biomass is the always great renewable resource to produce energy. The briquette machine manufacturer offers such green renewable energy coal called bio fuel briquettes.from biomass waste material which are used in various industries to heat industrial boilers.

    Posted by deepi17 | June 24, 2014, 7:28 am

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